This one’s for the Mom’s in the room.

Mom’s read this blog.  Mom’s who don’t get it, who are confused by how a woman who struggled to have children and seems so ‘normal’ in every other way could have EVER defended terrible people, and how could a woman who seems so ‘nice’ could want, desperately and sincerely, to go back for more.

Mother’s day has passed and I did my schtick, but I invite the mom’s who read this blog to take a peek at Norm Pattis‘s mother’s day post.  Once again, Mr. Pattis puts into words what we frequently think and feel, but for some reason, rarely say.  Don’t say “I’ll read it later” and go to some other mommy blog.  This is important.  If you walk through life thinking this could not, would not, should not ever happen, well, I hope you are right.  All too frequently, life takes turns that we just don’t expect and we don’t always manage to walk between the raindrops.

As a mom, you hope and pray for the best for your kids.   If things go awry, don’t you hope your baby has someone like Norm standing next to them? 

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Posted in: Not Gulity No Way   |     |   4 Comments

4 Responses

  1. MC - May 12, 2010

    Thanks for the link to Norm Pattis's Mother's Day blog. I read it, then re-read your own Mom's Day post and your May 2 post "It's About Them." Combined, these answer the ubiquitous question "how can you represent [multiple choice – the guilty, the hated, those beings regarded as less than human]?" Clients are people with problems. Lawyers are people who like to/need to try and solve problems. Some (clients and lawyers) have children. All have/had mothers (of varying types). And, thus, we are all people.

  2. K. - May 12, 2010

    I am a Mom. I am not an Attorney. I read this blog the first time because you were my friend. I continue to read it because it's well written, funny, thought-provoking and I enjoy it. I don't often comment on the legal stuff, as I don't want to be out-classed by the experts, but since you called for the Moms, and I feel I am somewhat of an expert there, I am bold enough to tread into the unknown zone.
    I read Norm Pattis' Mothers Day Entry; my heart felt bad for those poor Mothers. I then read Norm's "Defending Sex Offenders" blog – the question of the word of an 8 year-old child to convict. I don't know what the answers are.
    I believe in my heart that the Constitution has to protect us all; if it doesn't, the whole system crumbles. What's to stop someone from planting evidence because they "just know" the person is guilty, but dammit – they just can't PROVE it beyond a reasonable doubt, or denying someone a trial by jury because while they KNOW he's guilty, they fear the jury won't "get it". I understand intellectually that the protection of Defendants, both the guilty & the wrongly accused, protect MY Civil Rights — I get it, I get it, I get it. Even getting it, I don't have the Call to love those Rights enough to defend the accused, unless I believed them to be innocent. There is a vigilante in me that wants justice. There is an emotional response to a violent crime, a rape, a child murdered – that makes me want to grab the nearest noose and rile the mob. In my head I get the Accused is entitled to the best defense, entitled to every Right from Miranda to Appeal, but my heart yells for a pound of their flesh.
    I don't confuse Criminal Defense with an Attorney that must love the murderers, rapists and child molesters so much that they want them to go free and walk among the innocent to commit more crime. I like to believe that those that do it have a zealot's passion for JUSTICE for the accused: make sure they have a fair trial, make sure they get excellent representation, make sure they understand the plea being offered, make sure they are not browbeat into a confession, make sure they are treated like a human being and not suffering inhumane treatment even when accused of the most heinous, etc. I GET IT.
    And yet part of me still longs for an eye for an eye. The emotional part, the part that discounts reason and reacts. The part that doesn't think about how I would feel the day after I slipped the knot and kicked the chair of the accused. I don't long for vigilante justice enough to want the rights of others violated, but I don't not want it enough to stand up and defend them either.
    If I ever ask "How do you do this?" it's because I am filled with wonder and admiration at the strength, passion and conviction that inspires you to devote your life to protecting the rights of us ALL, not just your clients.

  3. Jen - May 13, 2010

    M, i've never wondered why you did it… i am grateful that there are people like you who can. and norm's post was heartwrenching. as and educator who has fallen in love with many families whose future ends up being just this, i can relate to the fight, the frustration, and the empathy. and as a parent myself, i can relate to the fact that being the best parent you can be just doesn't offer any guarantees.

  4. azjenn - May 14, 2010

    Those who wonder how you do it or why won't ever get it. If they ever find themselves on the other side they will pray for someone like you or Norm to come along.

    Your job has nothing to do with your struggle to have children. How anyone could compare the 2 is beyond me.

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